tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current June 11, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
girlfriend, yovonka, you know you got to give credit to the cannibal. he was dating two different girls, and she's pretty hot. vow"viewpoint" is up next. >> good evening, i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." as if the drone war against islamic villains wasn't enough there were stories leaked drone strikes, gutting al-qaeda leadership violate both u. and international law and the pentagon will unleash a mini drone small enough for individual soldiers to deploy. it will be enough to take out an individual without killing the people around him. but fear of collateral damage as
the pentagon calls additional casualties did not stop president obama in the death of tribal bleeder number two. leon panetta at a conference in india. >> we have made clear to the pakistanis that the united states of america is going to defend ourselves against those who would attack us. >> cenk: according to the times the drone strikes that are devastatingal quite from a kill list approved by the president. military-age men who die in the strikes are considered combatant combatants and not civilians under the logic that anyone killed in proximity to the terrorist must be an terrorist. >> it seems to be a pattern that is growing worse and more frequent. >> people say they don't want to
work with the united states because they can't trust us to keep a secret. >> eliot: while the justice department is investigating that leak and others president obama was adamant that none of the leaks were approved. >> obama: the knocks that my white house watch purposely release classified national security information is offensive. >> eliot: joining me now to discuss the drone wars, katrina vannen hovel. drones are symbols of u.s. arrogance, put aside moraleity of use of drones threatens to destabilize rather than secure pakistan. pretty powerful critique and attack on military tactic that many people think has been successful. explain the foundation. >> let us step back a little bit. we're in 2012 we've now been in more than a decade of the war on
terror. justice brennan gave a speech in 1986 on national security and freedom of speech. he walked people through the history of this country in times of national security crisis and war. from the very beginning the alien and sedetion acts to the use of investigations in the cold war of communist who allegedly threatened this country, the danger, eliot, is if we're at war and president obama has not used that language, if we're in perpetual endless war, which is the wrong way to process cure terrorism, we confront these hyper militarized forms of combating terrorism. in the process generate perhaps more insecurity, more terrorism and backlash against the arrogance of a country that is going to violate national sovereignty, violate rule of law and undermine the very principles we claim to be uphold
upholding. >> eliot: let me separate a couple of strands. there is no question that in times of war our constitution is tested and times we fail that test. we have tried to make up and repair the damage. the japanese encampment-- >> there are ends of those wars. there are treaties signed. this is a perpetual war, and what happens to the accumulation of power to the ex-i have unchecked-- >> eliot: i want to ask a question. >> it's dangerous if. >> eliot: i agree with much of what you're saying. the technology attached to drones, is there something unique that is causing the constitutional tension that you're talking about. >> i think we need to look at drones, and we were talking earlier, the video gamization of war that is so distant that is
so distant. we dealt with the proliferation of other kinds of weapons. other countries will have drones soon. if we violate them and use them without congress checking the executive power to use this in secrecy, we're in grave danger. the wave and fury of congress about these leaks, i mean every administration has leaks. they should be looking at the policy. it's not the leaks. >> eliot: let's get to the leaks in a second. i think there is difference in my mind, the drones are a tactical mechanism of projecting power. if groans interest private sector being used on the battle field as we have in the past pursuant to a congressional declaration of power we wouldn't be troubled by it, but drones is a technology that advances and effects effective killing, and what appears not to be the unbridled exercise of executive power, but that's a separate
issue. >> the drones, the almost unbridled expansion of executive power includes drones. we saw with "the new york times" story a week or two ago was a president pouring over the kill list, targeted assassinations by drones. these are, they claim counterterrorism head john brennan said there is almost no civilian casualties. they're computing civilian casualties literally military-age men in the sight of these drones are computed as combatcombatants but we dealt with technology before, eliot. drones are the latest incarnation. they're making this country increasingly distant from warfare. we don't have a draft, and men and women are over there with little connection. >> eliot: i don't disagree. i don't think it's the essence of the drone which makes this rather troubling. if the president were ordering
the c.i.a. to assassinate someone pursuant to a briefing and said a b c we believe should be killed without congressional authorization that would be equally troubling. it's the decision process. >> no, to step back again. in this, quote war on terror, we should not make a war. it should be a policing action in different ways. there is a play of steps taken in the name of this war. detentions without review. not only drones, but other kinds of targeted assassinations including of americans that you mentioned to congress. we have not had a declared war in this country, you know this better than i do eliot, since the korean act. the act passed in 19. 31973.and we are now at a moment where you have a man who is in the statestate department harold coe,
who understood the danger in times of national security crisis saying the libyan intervention was not one that could be reviewed under the war powers act. we need to modernize the way we hold executive power accountable, the role of congress and monitoring, first and foremost, americans must know what is being done in their name because this could threaten our country security. >> eliot: i agree with you. the argument is more powerful if you dissociate it from the issue of drones alone. drones have--drones are a tactic. drones are one particular weapon which are being used by this president to project the power. what i think is all-encompassing the argument is whether it's a drone or sending a c.i.a. asass sin. >> there have been ground-breaking reporting on special ops. we're seeing a redesign of the
use of the military. not only in privatization but unchecked military which makes eisenhower's call and warning of a military complex almost claimed. >> eliot: you talk about police power as opposed to war. you coded it in a good way there is a distinction between when you're at war, in which case killing a combatant is permissible. >> that's right. >> eliot: a law enforcement action is the obligation to take that person into detention. this is a hundreds of years of-- >> no, barry robinson, a human rights commissioner at the u.n. on the anniversary of 9/11, it should be policing called for the repeal of authorization of force passed in 2001 because that has given the executive the-- >> eliot: unbridled. >> you know better than anyone to check unbridled executive power is at the heart.
>> eliot: the only time i have seen unbridled. >> that's where sizery and congress--we begin to see the danger with the leaks, they go after the leakers instead of the policy shows in my mind--now there are 20 members of congress led by john conyers who has sent the president a formal letter requesting a review in the names of the citizens of this country of this target assassination policy. i understand that americans want to feel secure. but the same day that they had this story in "the new york times" there was a story on yemen. showing the use of drones in yemen, lead to go a backlash against this country great great. >> eliot: 30 seconds, but i want to switch gears. relate together leaks. do you believe based on what you've read these stories carefully, those leaks came out of sources from the white house? >> yes, they did. but "the new york times," they
took the sources and did some good reporting the call "the new york times" is to do as intensive investigation of the impact of the kill list on the ground. that would be a service to this country. every executive every administration leaks, you know that. >> eliot: i agree with you but that's why, let me ask this question. are you troubled by the fact that this administration has been so aggressive. >> yes. >> eliot: in prosecutor leakers. >> yes, there is a hypocrisy when you see an administration leaking and the administration has been surprisingly aggressive in prosecuting leaks. this country needs to know more not less. >> eliot: we covered a lot of. katrina, it's always great to have you on the program. tomorrow we'll examine the rising rate of suicide from our returning veterans. but coming up, the presidential election and the war of mistakes, that's up ahead on "viewpoint."
>> eliot: when it comes to matters of money these days, the average american is anxious and for good reasons. the biggest cause of that anxiety is the number of the day, $49,100. that's the difference between the median of the american family net worth in 2007 and the median net worth in 2010. in just three years the median family richer than half of the nation's families and poorer than the other half saw their
worth drop by almost $50,000 nearly 39%. according to the federal reserve that number has not been this low since the early 1990s. the income of the median family dropped 7.7%, and the value of their home shrank by nearly a third. for generations the two pillars of wealth accumulation has been owning a home and investing in stocks. since 2008 these two foundations have crumbled. no wonder people are so nervous. majority on behalf of the rights of the minority. and to me it is incumbent upon us as legislatures in this state if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer.
>>join the debate now. >> eliot: going gaffe-for-gaffe. pointing on the representative rival's word war. quote, the private assemblyter is doing fine. the republicans releasing two videos using those comments as to paint the president as out of touch. the obama campaign sought to turn the tables, seizing on seeming policy proposals that romney offered up at a campaign stop in iowa on friday. >> romney: he says we need more fireman, teachers and--did he not get the message of wisconsin? the american people. it's time to cut back on government and help the american people. >> eliot: even wisconsin's own governor, scott walker refused to back up romney's comments. >> i know in our state we back up firefighters, teachers
that's not what i think of when i think of big government. >> eliot: it does not body well for romney when they agree that even ronald reagan would have have a tough time being nominated by today's republican party. jeb bush said, reagan would have been criminal criticized for the things that he did. let me start with you saying the private sector is doing fine as the president did on friday. certainly a misstatement a gaffe of significant proportions, or coming out against teachers which is what mitt romney did later that day. >> i think the president ends up on the shortened of the stick on this one simply because it was a cleaner hit, him stand there will in the briefing room, saying the private sector is
doing fine. the president using real people. effecting a response. romney's comment was not that much better, but as far as the 0-second sound byte that culture involved in, i think it's a cleaner hit against the president. and it's fair game. >> mckay, can i make a counter argument? the president clearly made spoke. it was an error of syntax. he clearly does not believe that the private sector is fine. but then rom governor romney saying we don't need as many cops, firefighters and teachers, do you think the president is still wrong on this one? >> i think david is right, as far as campaign poetry like we talk about probably the president's gaffe was more damaging. but we're talking about
substantive issue of what these candidates meant romney's comment is reflective of the austerity fetish that the republican party has right now and it's reflective as audiology. i don'tideology. >> eliot: i agree with you the president's gaffe is worse, i think much of the public agrees with mitt romney. they don't have a lot of sympathy for cops firefighters, teachers, they're all good folks building a future, but the government is saying we don't want to pay for it. whereas the president's statement reflects that the public doesn't get it not doing enough for homeowners and students. that may be worse. on the other hand, the republican party seems to have a rogue within their own midst. has jeb bush gone rogue. he has gone against his own part with same sex same-sex same-sex marriage,
is jeb bush going rogue and thinking about 2016. >> he's going bill clinton and then bush traying from the party line. i think this underscores why jeb bush did not run this time. if he's honest with himself he probably couldn't have won this primary. a lot of these guys look good on paper, but the ideas that you just articulated that he articulated today in new york, it would be very hard for him to get through on iowa. i don't know if that's positioning himself for 2016 unless we see a total change in the composition of the republican primary electorate. i think it's very hard to perceive that. but again, on the gay issue it does show how public opinion is changing. when president obama endorseed gay marriage, the republicans were muted in their response. they put out one-line
statements. jeb bush's view shows that republicans can read polls and they know where that issue is going. >> eliot: a guest on the show a couple of weeks ago said that in 2016 both parties will be in favor of same things marriage in the fact that those under 30 are for it and over time that shifts the demographics. do you think jeb bush is clearing the path for romney? >> that very well could be. especially on the issue of immigration. i mean, there is no question that this--this election may well be decided by latino voters. and mitt romney really doesn't have much room to move on the right on that issue. so to have a prominent republican come out, make these statements on immigration. he could move a little to the center without looking like he's moving to the left. that might be something that jeb bush is doing for him. >> eliot: whether or not jeb is thinking about 2016, we don't need to be that cynical. we have enough cynicism in our politics. i don't need to add to it. but it's something that he has
done that is traditional in the bush family. his brother did find a path on immigration, not successful but he did try. as his father did. perhaps this is something in the bush family to create a wiggle room and central to the likelihood of republican victory. let me go to the past of what the republican party was like. richard nixon, an essentially conservative president he permitted the state to hire teachers, cops, and firefighters. would that notion be supported today? >> it's very hard to think that that could be a tenable view in the republican party. there are governs in southern states, i mean, george w. the president, and jeb, they had to deal with hispanic communities, huge cuban community obviously in florida. so this gets real. it gets outside of the campaign rhetoric when you have
constituencies to deal with. this is a demographics where the most hispanic country and diverse country and republicans know a lot of those states out west, they need to do well, not necessarily carry the majority but do well with hispanic to be competitive. >> eliot: do you want to jump in? >> going back to the gay marriage issue. the thing about mitt romney is that--i think he does personally oppose gay marriage. but at the end of the day every day we're talking about the social issues, be it immigration or same sex issues, it's a day that mitt romney is losing. he knows his attack line is the economy and that's all he wants to talk about. >> it's also a fundamental tension within the republican party where they say let people do what they want with their own lives, versus those who want to crawl in other bedrooms and tell
us what to do. it also reflects that jeb bush understand as the bush family has understood, the republican party as a group has wandered so far to the right they're not going to find that central core and get elected if they don't on back to the middle. david catanese political reporter at politico. and mcday coppins political reporter for buzzfeed. thank you for your time tonight. >> snookie and crystal palin went on "good morning america" on the same day. the end of television. viewfinder is next. build etch-a-sketch candidate, an image where romney is anti gas.
jew still to come, combating citizens united. is there anything that we the people can do. we have keith ellison joining us, but first world domination and bull murray slides in safe. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> i know that all of you work your hardest he every day to inform the public and create a
better informed society. >> all of you except the fox which is doing everything it can to create a society that believes i'm socialist bedlam. after four years i still have to defend my faith when no one asking obama. >> there are some on planet that does not get that. it is my greatest challenge at this hour, my greatest duty to pass it along to you. this network that now is conquering the world. >> there are evil people in the world, people are evil. we're force of good, and we're using the drones to carry out the policies of righteousness and goodness. >> you can see in every video there is a peeping tom. >> you sit around in your wet diaper, peep on your neighbor and you're having a good time. >> find out what you're doing in your backyard. >> i'm not even interesting. you don't even have a fence.
i think that's strange. >> you can have a grass of wine. i refuse. i'm going to be that person who has that glass of wine and comes out with three legs. >> hi, can't wait. >> open yourself up to a show like this. there is going to be a lot of things that are going to be succeed. are you prepared for that? >> i think i am. i think i have tough skin. i know that god is on my side. >> thank my lucky stars to be here today. and. [ singing ] [ music ] >> eliot: bill murray can always make us laugh. citizens unite against citizens united. that's on "viewpoint" after the break.
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gaeme inc. thank gaemezilinsky, thank you for joining >> eliot: it's call to arms to overturn citizens unite: the supreme court decision that remade the political landscape allowing outside groups to pour mobbles into campaigns. we saw it's effect last week when wisconsin governor scott walker used tens of millions of dollars in outside contributions to beat tom barrett in a rare recall election. walker outspent barrett 7 oh-to-1 with most of the money coming from out of state. now they have announceed plans
for resolution weeks asking political leaders around the country to ask measures that would overturn citizens united and level the playing field. i'm happy to have with me congressman keith ellison. thank you for your leadership on this issue. what would your constitutional amendment do, and how do you hope to get it passed. >> it would simply declare it's only natural persons who have the first amendment right and that corporations could be governed by the congress. it would give congress the legal authority real regulate political speech by corporations. now there are 14 different versions out there from members of congress. we're trying to get the members of congress to come together under a simple declaration that we all agree with, which is
citizen united needs to be overturned. we can debate the fine points later but now we need to build a ground as swell movement across the united states to overturn that. >> eliot: it also been a political and constitutional battle which is corporations has the rights of people but without the down side risks. you can't send corporations to jail. >> not really, it's really a fine. piercing the corporate veil is rare and difficult to do. yet, we see corporate contributions just totally going over the top. and i believe that wisconsin is really just an opening. i think we've seen that 7-to-1 different1differential in spending. i think it will get worse if we don't get this under control. >> eliot: the unlimited nature
of these contributions to super pacs, the contributions of $5 million to $10 million completely swamp the role the individuals can play with contributions of $200 or even $1,000. >> the side fact it regular gates the individual to the side line. we need to exalt the individual and let corporations do what they should do, which is basically regulate business activity, not interfere in our democratic process. >> eliot: to play a role of legal history, corporations only became people under the constitution halfway through our history towards the beginning of the last century. it's not as though they've always been citizens or individuals under the constitutions. >> so very true. they came to get these rights of a person as a result of constitutional amendments which were decide to help the newly freed slaves. they had the benefit of the constitutions yet corporations
shoehorned their way in there and now we have a frankenstein situation where the creature is consuming the democratic process that we all should have the first right to. this is a ground swell movement. we're trying to get local governments, mustalities municipalities cities, whether you're a big city, small or county, to pass resolutions so that when we're in a position to pass this thing, we have americans all across this nation ready to move forward. >> eliot: you point something out that maybe the historians only care about the corporations have taken advantage of the 13th amendment corporations have had great lawy
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>> how do they get back on message? that's later in the show. but first let's go-go west with jennifer granholm. >> we're going to tackle the key issue in the campaign, which is what should be the role in government in creating jobs. the partisan battle on whether the private sector is doing fine or the public sector should shrink before. we'll talk with kevin levin, who is with the obama campaign and we'll talk to nobel prize economist on the shrinking of the middle class, and we have the president on rock the vote to get her take on how to get millennials out to vote. >> eliot: wow, firepower. the nobel laureate and the united states senator you have the show.
our conversation is with you the viewer because we're independent. >>here's how you can connect with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the easy answers. [ music ] >> eliot: so what are the take aways from last week's awful political streak, between wisconsin and the national election focusing on petty gaffes. it looks too much like the slash and burn of years past, leaving etch-a-sketch mitt of all people to fill the space for vision and hope. the politics of hope and change need a reboot. we can accomplish it by showing how democrats can do the job better. first, don't just attack mitt
romney's old company bain capital. compare bain after obama's investment. make the argument that the president is better at private equity than mitt romney. we invested and saved it. that's creative investment, and it may be the change that we can believe in. the economy is bad for kids just out of college or high school. it's time for a year of national service. this is the modern day wpa. we will give a job. it can be enlisting in the military if you choose but we will pay you, give you skills and by the way, cover your student debts while you're in the program. this will slay or at least make a dent in the student debt issue. of course, there are deeper argument for national service for the sake of community and patriotism. stockholders are starting to stand up and demand change in the companies they own. join that fight instead of being bogged down in the one-dimensional debate of
regulation. empowering shareholders is more important. leave the sec with rules on proxy fights board selections, and role of mutual funds with other investors. this is the key to reforming our corporate structure. president obama should be the ownership president, not the regulatory president. finally, come out with fundamental tax restructuring one that favors equity and investment. it can be done. make capital gains the same as ordinary income rates and close loopholes that detort priorities. the white house argument is adrift. as last we demonstrated but it can be easily retooled to recapture the imperative of change. the white house has a compelling argument to make that it is and will be the change agent we need going forward. that's my view.
jennifer granholm is politically direct on current tv. >>the dominoes are starting to fall. (vo) granholm is live in the war room. >> what should women be doing? >> electing women to office. (vo) she's a political trailblazer. >>republicans of course didn't let facts get in the way of spin. >>do it, for america.
>> eliot: now that president obama has fully evolved in his views off same-sex marriage, is the g.o.p. next? judging from the comments from former florida governor and republican royalty jeb bush, the answer may be yes. >> if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that's what they do and that's how they organize their life, that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it j georgia while definitely not an endorsement of same-sex marriage it's clearly represents a step to the left of conservative
orthodoxy. not that orthodoxy is change something fast. a new study funded by two conservative groups and released yesterday in social science magazine with an accompanying essay in slate magazine by the studies' author asserted that, i quote, the children of women who very had same sex relationships fare quites differently than those who in stable biologically intact mom and pop families displaying numbers more comparable to knows from heterosexual step families and single parents. joins us now who wrote about the study, thank you for your time tonight. >> zach, let me start with you about the move potentially within the republican party. do you think it is important and a foreshadowing of what comes down the road that jeb bush is basically saying, same-sex couples may be okay with us.
>> we also saw that today. the texas republican party platform will not have a comment on same sex one way or the other. also reflects a number of trends we've seen over the last month and a half, we had this polling memo where top strategists were offering a shift on this issue for younger generations. the fact is president obama announced his position stance on same-sex marriage, he talked about how he goes to these college campuses and talks with college republicans and says look, i disagree with you on the economic issues and i also disagree with you on same-sex marriage. when it comes to the issue of this issue, whether you're conservative or liberal, the issue is clear. >> eliot: do you think it's almost a matter of necessity that the republican has got to recognize if they continue to be rigidly anti-sex anti-same-sex marriage they'll simply become the minority party.
>> they're already moving in that direction. it's not because they want to, but look at the poll data and they can see that the country has moved. there is not an issue i can think of where the polls have moved so dramatically over 20 and 30 years and republicans see they're democrat graphically on the losing end and they don't want to be a minority party. that's where they're head first degree they stay with that position. >> let's switch to the study reported, and that you wrote about, there is an article in slate magazine, the author of the study who basically tried to argue that children of same-sex couples do not fare as well as children of heterosexual couples. tell us what the study said and why its flawed. >> it's a great study. it's not a study of what the social conservatives say it is. they want to portray it as a study that gay people are poorer parents than straight people because that's kids turned out worse than kids of the gay couples turned out worse than
kids of the straight couples. this is a study of what happened 20 or 30 years ago. these are young adults reflecting on their childhood. when you look at the data. it says the kids of so-called gay couples are kids of metrosexual families. there were marriages where someone discovered they were gay. they came out and the home is broken at that point. the study makes a wonderful case for same-sex marriage. it says we should not do what we were doing 30 or 40 years ago. we should domesticate marriage for homosexuals and make it a stable place to raise children. >> what you think the data shows is that kids who are raised with a same-sex couple, if they're stable, will do as well as kids in heterosexual stable relationships. stability is the factor rather than the sexuality of the parents. >> absolutely. it's not just me.
the author of the study has said, and the fine print that the so-called planned gay families, people who knew they were gay formed a same-sex couple, decided to have children together, those kids turned out much better. >> zach, you made that argument so incredibly powerful in your iowa speech that went viral on youtube. >> this is a classic case of causation and correlation. you have the author of the papermaking the case that there is a result that happens when you have a gay parent. but if you look carefully, and will is right, if you look at the faint print, he said i don't have a causal link. this is essentially the same longs where the eradication of pirates has caused global warming. he's observing two independent results without explaining what is explaining the causation and the instability that may result result--
>> eliot: i always wanted to write an article that us causation and correlation is not the same. you're majoring in what? >> engineering. >> eliot: only an engineer could say that. the data in the study does not prove what the author wants it to prove. >> so when you're talking 20, 30 years ago, the society interacted with these children was much different than the way they interact with us kids today. there are a number of different things that would result in society interacting with these families, with these kids in a way that is very very fundamentally different than the way they do today. will hit it right on the head. if these families were able in the beginning able to be in stable loving relationships like my moms, these numbers would be much, much closer to what we see in line with our studies in the past that have actually been about these stable committed families. >> eliot: will, a study comes out, an initial spin by the
author certainly the initial spin was that this was an attack on the notion of same-sex couples rearing kids. the examination of the data shows, no, that is the wrong conclusion. where do you think we're going in terms of same sex parenting. >> there will be more studies and more data that will try to get as much as possible. i'm willing to bet on the truth. i'm willing to go with the evidence and see where it leads. i think what it's going to show, what the data on this subject generally show it is true what conservatives say. it is better to be raised by a stable couple. it's better to be raised by two parents who are played and there is a biological connection between the parents and the children. what will happen over time we're going to find that same-sex couples are able to bring those elements of good parenting and show heterosexual america they're just as good as implementing those things. >> eliot: if i hear you all
those things that exist with a same-sex couple. >> exactly. >> eliot: zach, you've become a leading voice on this. >> at the end of the day the scientific community will look at this and see where the funding of this study has come from, it's been labeled by the southern pastor law center as a hate group. this is a paper that will stand out as an outlier and not the norm. >> eliot: only a couple of seconds left. you presented a position to the boy scouts. what is happening there. >> we've had a resolution put forth after that delivery that seems to the boy scouts are considering changing their positions. a bunch of eagle scouts coming together asking to end that policy. i look forward to work with them to make that happen. >> eliot: not only are you an engineering student that is explaining causation